Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English, today launched a new €5.5 million COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme, as announced in the Government’s July Jobs Stimulus package.
The new fund will be administered by Enterprise Ireland, on behalf of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, and will support retail businesses to 'enhance their digital capability, drive online sales and grow their customer base.'
'Targeted at indigenous retailers with a pre-existing online presence, this fund will accelerate their online offerings to respond to both domestic and international consumer demand,' Enterprise Ireland said in a statement.
Grants To Fund Fees
The State agency explained that the grant can be used to fund fees for service providers, to develop and implement a digital strategy supported by in-house training, and to enhance the retailer’s website and related systems.
'Successful applicants will receive a grant of up to 80% of project costs, with these grants ranging from €10,000 to a maximum of €40,000,' it added.
Speaking at the launch of the new scheme in the Great Outdoors in Dublin, Minister English said: “The Government has been listening to retailers across the country and it is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to make it an urgent priority for businesses to accelerate the growth of their online offering. For many retailers, developing their online sales channel for consumers has been a long-term goal prior to the pandemic."
“As Minister, I am determined to support that ambition and assist our retailers to increase their digital presence and boost online sales allowing them to target new and existing customers and shoppers in the online space," he added.
Minister English noted that retailers are seizing the opportunity to significantly enhance their online shopfronts and complement their traditional presence.
"It also provides consumers with more opportunities to support local businesses in their community, even when shopping online,” he said.
Previous COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme
At the beginning of July, the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment announced funding for 185 companies under the previous COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme.
"The last funding round saw more than two thirds of grants going to companies outside Dublin," said Stephen Creaner, executive director, Enterprise Ireland.
"It is an important measure as the retail sector throughout Ireland looks to reopen and provide a safe and secure shopping environment for customers, both in store and online,” he added.
The COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme opens for applications on Monday, 31 August 2020 and closes at 3pm on Monday, 28 September 2020.
Find further information and how to apply here.
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